Warrants are the first step in the land patenting process. They identify how much land may be surveyed, the reason for the warrant's issuance, the date of issuance, and the name of the warrant purchaser or recipient. Warrants do not identify land location.
Warrants may be sold, traded, or reassigned in whole or in part. They may be divided to authorize more than one survey of unappropriated land.
There are several different types of warrants. Some of them include preemption, treasury, certificates of settlement, warrants for finding salt or for making a road through the wilderness. Only a small percentage of Kentucky land patents were authorized by military warrants.
In his Proclamation of 1763, King George III of England introduced the bounty land warrant system (land patenting process) as a method of paying soldiers of the French & Indian War. Several hundred patents authorized by the French & Indian War Warrants are filed with the Kentucky Land Office.
To research warrant recipients & assignees, see A Calendar Of The Warrants For Land In Kentucky, Granted For Service In The French & Indian War, by Philip Fall Taylor, ISBN 0-8063-0327-1.
Military Warrant issued to William Peachy for 3,000 acres for "his services as a captain the regiment of regulars commanded by Col. Washington in the late war between Great Britain andFrance according to the terms of the King of Great Britain's Proclamation of 1763." Dated March 16, 1780. Assignments would be written on the back of the document.
After the Revolutionary War, the United States adopted the same method of awarding bounty land to soldiers as payment for military service. The Virginia Land Law of 1779 set aside a portion of southwest Kentucky as a military district for soldiers who had served out of Virginia. After 1792, Virginia veterans had to use their military warrants in the Ohio Military District along Little Miami River.
For more information, see Researching the Revolutionary War Warrants Database and the Revolutionary War Military District. The Revolutionary War Warrants Database will help you begin your research.
County Commissioners issued warrants/certificates to applicants who met age and residency requirements under the South of Green River Series.
On December 21, 1820, the Kentucky General Assembly approved legislation for the benefit of "poor widows...with numerous helpless children, destitute of homes." Widows were allowed up to 100 acres of land. Fees and taxes were not assessed on the life estate.
Many Kentucky patents were authorized by Acts of the General Assembly. An example is the Act for the Relief of Certain Poor Persons and other acts awarding land to certain individuals. In some cases, the Kentucky General Assembly authorized warrants to be sold by county commissioners appointed to oversee academies and seminaries and roads and construction projects. Kentucky's early infrastructure was funded by the sale of vacant and unappropriated land.
When researching patents, study copies of all available records, including the warrant. This will help you determine why -- and to whom -- the warrant was issued. Although the warrant/certificate may differ in form, the purpose was still the same. The document authorized a survey or surveys.